Michael Bartone Memorial Fund


Michael Bartone lost his life in March 2002, during his battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease as it is more commonly referred to, affects 5,600 new Americans every year. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. Twenty percent of the people diagnosed die within three years. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Michael graduated from Downingtown High School in 1981. Throughout his school years he excelled at football, little league baseball, and Junior High wrestling. He was an active boxing enthusiast as well. During his senior year in high school, he served as co-captain of the football team. 

After his graduation from high school, he attended Thaddeus Stevens Technical School, once again excelling on the football field. He was also a member of the wrestling team. He graduated with a degree in carpentry, following in the footsteps of his grandfather.

His love of sports continued after his graduation. Michael stayed active in community sports until his body would no longer allow. He helped to lead championship winning flag football and rugby teams. His association with the Brandywine Rugby Club held special meaning for him. 

The Michael Bartone Memorial Fund is a non-profit 170(b)(1)(a)(vi) organization located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Charitable donations to this organization are tax deductible. This organization benefits philanthropy, scholarships for graduating seniors of Downingtown East and West High Schools, volunteerism, and grant making foundations. The Michael Bartone Memorial endeavors to continue his battle through contributions to the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Associationfor the purpose of researching a cure for this faceless killer.